Last week, I attended the annual retreat for MCE Clean Energy.
MCE, which originally was an acronym for “Marin Clean Energy” is a four-county, 36 member community, Joint Powers Authority that provides the generation component of your electricity. Distribution (poles and wires) is still handled by PG&E. MCE was founded in 2011 to (1) provide energy with a lower use of fossil fuels at (2) competitive prices.
The City of Richmond joined in 2013 as the first expansion outside Marin County.
I have represented the City of Richmond on the board of MCE from the time we joined, and I currently serve as chair of the board. Today, MCE serves 540,00 accounts (87% of electricity customers across four counties) with an annual budget of half a billion dollars.
If you, like most electricity users in Richmond, subscribe to MCE, you are at least getting the default “Light Green” product, which has a renewable energy content of 61% compared to the state average of 33%. For accounting purposes, the California Energy Commission does not count large hydro and nuclear as renewable, but they are carbon free. The MCE Light Green product is 99% carbon free.
If you have chosen to upgrade to Deep Green, your renewable energy product content is 100% as well as being 100% carbon free.
One feature of our annual retreats is presentations on emerging technology. We had a presentation from Raven about a new project in Richmond located at the Republic Services landfill. It will take organic waste from the transfer station and convert it into syngas or hydrogen. The hydrogen can be used in a fuel cell to create electricity .